Providing for your child is simply part of being a parent, but there are specific rules you must follow if you are not married to your child’s other parent. It is critical to ensure you understand the fundamental rules of child support. So, here is a brief overview of some of the most frequently asked questions about child support:
Who pays child support?
Both parents have a responsibility to financially support their children until the children turn 18. However, it is generally the non-custodial parent who has to pay child support by court order.
What does it mean to be a non-custodial parent?
Being a “non-custodial parent” does not mean you do not have parenting time or custody of your kids. The non-custodial parent usually has less overall time with the children.
This does not have to be by a significant amount. For example, you and your ex-spouse may have a joint custody arrangement, but if your parenting time is less than 50%, then you may have to pay child support.
How much will you pay?
The amount you pay in monthly child support will depend on your family’s circumstances. The biggest factors to calculate support payments often include:
- Your custody agreement, as mentioned above
- Your income and earning capacity
- Your child’s needs
Considering these factors means the amount varies widely from family to family. It is also subject to possible modifications as your child’s needs change as they age, or your financial situation changes over the years.
How will you pay child support?
In most cases, the court order will establish automatic deductions from your paychecks that will cover child support. This arrangement is actually required by North Carolina law in most situations.
However, there are also options to make payments online. This could be necessary in certain situations to avoid late payments or if you must provide supplemental payments.
Even if it is a parent’s responsibility, considering all of the factors that go into child support can be overwhelming. The terms of the parent’s financial responsibility change, and it is essential to understand those changes.